It could have been billed as a clash between the student and the master last Saturday, when the George Mason Mustang wrestling squad, with longtime coach John Pitas at the helm, traveled to Maryland to take on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons under the guidance of former Mason wrestler Josh Singer. Singer, a 2002 graduate of Mason High, has been coaching at the Maryland school for the past two years and is also pursuing a Master's degree at George Washington University. This time at least, the student had the upper hand, as the seriously undermanned Mustangs did not present much of a challenge to the Barons and the “clash” never really materialized.
The loss, by a score of 66-15, did not, however, dampen the spirits of Head Coach Pitas.
“I’m far from disappointed,” said Pitas. “This provided us with a good opportunity to see some good competition and there were a number of bright spots. Everyone wrestled well. [Assistant Coach Bryan] Harris and I feel we are progressing nicely at all positions.”
Mason’s three mainstays, David Ray (140), Barratt Kennett (171) and Steve Parks (189) continued their winning ways, as they each won against the B-CC squad. Despite losing efforts, Drew Dixon, Tim Hillegass and Brian Costelloe acquitted themselves well.
The largest loss of the meet occurred when new heavyweight David Kouchma suffered an ankle injury during his match. The long-term prognosis for Kouchma is uncertain, pending the results of medical tests, but he is certain to miss at least a couple of weeks. Along with Kouchma on the inactive list are Mike Larcamp (215) and Jackson Thomas (103). The good news for Mason is that Thomas is expected to be ready by this weekend to debut for the Mustangs.
As part of the day’s efforts, Mason also wrestled Clarksburg High, another Montgomery County school, and the result was similar to that of the GM/B-CC match, as the Mustangs fell by a score of 60-16. Again Kennett and Parks won their matches, as did Tim Hillegass, but David Ray lost a squeaker in a 6-5 upset. In JV action, eighth grade standouts Alborz Alaeddini, Noel Obusan and Danny Nash each won their matches.
This weekend the Mustangs are at home for the first of this season’s two home events. They will host teams from Fauquier, Liberty and Chantilly. Wrestling will start at 10 a.m., with wrestlers from both the JV and varsity in action this Saturday.